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Freestyle – Single-Arm Variations

While we’ve focused on single-arm freestyle before, we gave only one side of the story.  Since freestyle is the mainstay of swim training, here are three single-arm variations to help keep things interesting.

Why Do It:
Each single-arm variation will help you focus on a different part of your stroke.  Being able to maintain balance, rotation, and a direct line forward will ultimately help your stroke.

How to Do It:
1,
  Swim a few laps of very smooth freestyle, concentrating on swimming with your best, most stable stroke.
2.  Start your single-arm drilling with the non-stroking arm held out front.  This will help you focus on extension and being able to hold the lead arm as steady as possible through the rotation.  Breathe to the opposite side of the extended arm.
3.  Now try a single-arm variation where you drop the lead arm down to your side.  As you start this, breathe to the side of the trailing arm.
4.  Try not to stay “flat” like this swimmer is doing, but rotate your trailing shoulder out of the water each time.
5.  The next single-arm variation is to breathe to the opposite side, or the stroking-arm side.
6.  The trick here is to maintain rhythm.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
On each of these freestyle single-arm variations, focus on your catch and how you’re drawing yourself forward.  Also try to make sure you’re not bouncing up and down, but rather staying very stable.